The Team

A bit about us: The evolution Ryan, Sherrill, and Griffin.  


I (Ryan, aka Mr. Whiskers) was born in Colorado, moved to Missoula Montana to attend the University of Montana where I received a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy.  In the spring of our senior year, my buddy and I traveled to Ak. for the ski trip of a lifetime.  We flew into Anchorage at night and woke up in Girdwood to blue skies, the snow-coated Chugach mountains and a swollen Turnagain Arm.  The landscape was a fusion I had not experienced before.  It was there that the dream became a reality and knew I needed to stay.  Fortunately, the friend we stayed with in Girdwood turned me on to the possibility of becoming a sea kayak guide for a local company based out of Whittier.  A week after returning to Missoula I purchased my plane ticket, packed 2 duffle bags and Husky-Akita pup Naga, and moved to Whittier for my summer job.

From here the story is the same as many people who have “visited” Alaska; they come to visit and never leave. For more about myself and my vision for Paddlers’ Realm click here

In a wild series of interconnectedness I met a woman on a kayak trip (of course), who would later become my wife.


Sherrill was born and raised in Anchorage Alaska.  She attended Smith College where she received a  B.A. in Biology.  Sherrill had planned on moving to Japan to teach English, but our intersection derailed these plans and we began our life together.

We both guided for Alaska Sea Kayakers for a few years, then Sherrill moved on to receive a certificate in Massage Therapy  from the University of Alaska Anchorage.  She and two friends opened a massage therapy clinic in Anchorage.  After 5 successful years her passion for knowledge and desire to make a positive contribution to society spurred her to attend Bastyr University to get a Masters degree in Nutrition and is currently a Registered Dietitian in Anchorage.

Sherrill is an amazing asset to Paddlers’ Realm as she provides insight and guidance for dietary concerns and handles logistics.  Sherrill is really the backbone that makes it all happen as she takes care of our son and manages our household.


12 years after our union, the mythical creature named Griffin was born!  Despite being only a toddler, he too is a major asset: helping sort gear, accompanying us on trainings and being part of the support team.

In the summer my time is split between Whittier (and the Kenai Peninsula), and the Matanuska Valley (“The Valley”).  In the winter we retreat back to our home at the base of the Hatcher Pass and regroup after the often hectic, but wonderful paddling season.